Here is everything you need to know about this increasingly popular gaming and live streaming platform.
Twitch is a website where users can watch videos and live streams of other users (known as ‘broadcasters’), typically playing computer games. They can also live stream themselves. The minimum age to use it is 13, but it is easy to sign up if you are younger.
What is the problem?
Live streaming makes it harder to censor what people share or what language they use, so your child could be exposed to bullying content, or content that is inappropriate for their age
The chat function means strangers could talk to your child.
Twitch is one of the main platforms used to ‘groom’ children (where an adult builds a relationship with a child to manipulate, exploit and abuse them)
- Steps to help keep your child safe on Twitch
- Find out what your child is watching. Try watching together at first or find out what channels they are watching and research them yourself. This will help you see whether what they are watching is age-appropriate.
2. Encourage your child to only talk to people they know, anyone could pretend to be a child or teenager online, so encourage your child not to talk privately to people they do not know in real life. If they do talk to people they do not know, for example in group chats, tell them not to give out information that could identify them, such as their school name or the name of the street you live on.
3. Restrict content in chat This will make it less likely that your child will see inappropriate content, though no filter is perfect. In browser, start watching a channel, then click the cog icon in the bottom left > under ‘My preferences’ click ‘Chat filters’ > tick ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick the filters you want to enable. On the app, start watching a stream, then tap the video > tap the cog icon at the top right of the video > under ‘Chat options’ tap ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick the filters you want to enable. These settings will apply to other channels too.
4. Block private messages from strangers Your child can block private messages (known as ‘whispers’) from strangers. To do this, go to the ‘Privacy’ section of the ‘Security and privacy’ page, and tick to block messages from strangers.
5. Make sure your child knows how to report and block people.
Twitch, Net Aware
200,000 young people may have been groomed on social networks, NSPCC
Twitch Help, Twitch